Module code: BMSM007

Module Overview

How nutrition can help us to age healthily and avoid disease.

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

RAYMAN Margaret (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 125

Lecture Hours: 25

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

Some or all of the following topics:

• Biology of human senescence
• Functional consequences of human senescence: neurological and cognitive decline; impaired vision and hearing; poor dentition; reduced strength; muscle wasting (sarcopaenia); reduced physical activity; deterioration of circulatory and gastrointestinal function; bone loss; immobility; impaired immune function
• Nutritional implications of human senescence: diminished appetite; impaired taste and smell; fall in
nutrient absorption; impaired nutrient utilisation; masticatory disability; food selection
• Effect of ageing on immune function; benefits of micronutrients
• Nutritional status assessment and screening
• Current nutritional status of the elderly; frequently-encountered deficiencies
• Diet in the aetiology of some age-related conditions e.g. osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cancer, cognitive decline/Alzheimer's disease, age-related eye disease
• Nutrition to aid prevention of some age-related diseases

  • osteoporosis

  • osteoarthritis

  • Alzheimer's disease and impaired cognitive function

  • macular degeneration, cataract

  • cardiovascular disease

  • hypertension

  • stroke

  • cancer (e.g. prostate cancer)

• Malnutrition in the elderly and in hospital: relationship of nutrition to clinical outcome
• Appropriate use of supplements and functional foods

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their subject knowledge and understanding (see above) and the development of their cognitive and transferable skills (see above) through the assimilation and appraisal of the literature to address the coursework questions.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

• Coursework: assignments collectively comprising a maximum of 5000 words, which may include a compulsory element. A maximum of 10 questions ensures a range of subject areas are assessed, demonstrating learning outcomes across the range for the module
• Students are required to submit electronically on a set deadline two months following the module.

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will receive feedback electronically in SurreyLearn and Module Organisers will be available for further discussion if necessary.

Module aims

  • To have an appreciation of the biology of senescence.
  • To understand the effect of ageing on the immune system.
  • To examine nutritional requirements for healthy ageing.
  • To evaluate the role of nutrition in the aetiology, prevention and treatment of age-related conditions such as cancer, CVD, hypertension, stroke, Alzheimer's Disease/dementia, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, age-related eye disease and sarcopaenia.
  • To understand the relationship between dentition and adequacy of the diet.
  • To appreciate the prevalence of malnutrition in elderly people in hospital and the community; to be aware of methods of nutritional assessment of the elderly and their limitations.
  • To investigate the role of nutrition in clinical outcome.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Explain the relationship between senescence, function, immunity and nutritional status K
2 Discuss the extent to which nutrition can help to prevent or treat age-related diseases K
3 Describe the effect of inadequate dentition on nutritional status K
4 Evaluate the association between nutrition and age-related diseases C
5 Appraise the efficacy of diet, nutritional supplements and the use of fortified/functional foods in improving clinical outcome (e.g. following illness or surgery) C
6 Debate the key issues regarding the prevalence of malnutrition and frequently encountered nutritional deficiencies in hospitals and the community C
7 Evaluate the evidence for the role of nutrition in the aetiology, prevention and treatment of age-related conditions T
8 Apply theory critically to analyse own professional experience T
9 Assess the limitations of the published norms and interpretation of nutritional status assessment in the elderly to evaluate the impact of clinical intervention T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to be aligned with the descriptor for qualification at level 7 in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) produced by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)

The learning and teaching methods include:

• Lectures
• Workshops
• Journal club
• Class discussions

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: BMSM007

Other information

This module is only available to students on the Nutritional Medicine programme.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Nutritional Medicine MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.